The Council on Aging of Central Oregon (CoA) has announced the upcoming retirement of Executive Director Susan Rotella. The Board has chosen Cassie Regimbal, the current Associate Executive Director, to serve as the organization’s new Executive Director starting May 1st, 2023. 

Regimbal is the natural successor to Rotella, having worked at CoA since September 2014. Jennifer Neahring, board vice president and chair of the executive director recruiting committee says, “we interviewed candidates across the Northwest and none of them matched the enthusiasm, determination, and dedication that we saw from Cassie.”

Regimbal, a born-and-raised Bendite, is a licensed social worker, with a Bachelor’s from Oregon State University-Cascades and a Master’s in Social Work from Portland State University. She started her career working with older adults in memory care and focused on hospice work during her schooling before joining the CoA team. Regimbal started as an intern and rapidly moved into the positions of Case Manager, Client Services Manager, Director of Client Services, Associate Executive Director, and now will take the position of Executive Director.

Regimbal aims to revive health promotion and fall prevention classes and build stronger partnerships in the community to create a coalition to support and advocate for older adults and people with disabilities. In conjunction with the staff and board, she is undertaking a new strategic planning process to expand the reach and impact of CoA’s programs. She will also focus on fully utilizing the beautiful, renovated Senior Services Center. 

“I am so excited to lead CoA and to continue to build on the fantastic work that Susan and the team have done,” Regimbal said. “I am committed to making sure that we continue to provide the best possible services to older adults and their families in Central Oregon.”

As we welcome Cassie into the position of Executive Director, we also want to thank Susan for her leadership, vision, and accomplishments, which will be remembered and appreciated by the community for decades to come. “Susan’s leadership enabled the Council to grow and to pivot quickly during the pandemic,” said Board Chair Lou Capozzi. “As a result, we were able to maintain and grow services to thousands of the most vulnerable Central Oregon residents and their loved ones.”

Rotella, who joined CoA’s Board in March 2014, quickly moved into the position of Board Chair, and was hired as the Executive Director in March 2017. During her tenure, Rotella oversaw a complete renovation of the Bend Senior Services Center and developed new wraparound programs like Caring Connections and Pet Pals.

Rotella transitioned into the nonprofit world after a successful career in marketing and management in telecommunications and senior living companies. She notes that her career switch came from interacting with residents in beautiful, amenity-filled senior communities who didn’t want to live there. They wanted to age in their homes and be with their friends, family, and neighbors. Rotella realized that she wanted to help make that happen, both for them and for herself.

After helping with Regimbal’s transition, Rotella plans to travel and spend more time exploring Central Oregon with her three dogs in her retirement. She will remain a constant cheerleader for the Council on Aging and will return as a core volunteer for the Pet Pals program.

The Council on Aging of Central Oregon is in good hands with the appointment of Cassie Regimbal as the organization’s new Executive Director. She has big plans for the organization, and her passion and dedication will serve her well as she leads the organization into the future. 

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